A little bit after Nadal defeated Gael Monfils on Tuesday night in the fourth round of the 2009 US Open, a spectator came out of the stands and hugged and kissed him his naked chest before being escorted quickly by security guards.
Although caught off guard, Nadal did not seem to be shaken, in fact he smiled and chuckled after it happened.
“For me it wasn’t a problem,” said Nadal, noting that the man spoke in English. “The guy was really nice.”
“He was a great fan,” he said. “He said, ‘I love you,’ and he kissed me.”
Nadal had just removed his shirt (showing his stomach patch) and was preparing for an on-court interview when the man suddenly emerged with a camera to approach him. I’ve included a quick YouTube video showing the highlights of the quick hug, kiss, & run guy. He actually attacks him about the 57 second mark.
Thirty minutes after the match, the police had a man in custody, and they handcuffed him to the bleachers alongside Court 5 (were they better setas for the match then he had before, who knows?). A USTA spokesman said the incident was being reviewed, as were on-court security procedures.
Tournament spokesman Tim Curry said police arrested the man for interference with a sporting event.
“We’re reviewing what happened and then will determine if we have to make any changes to our on-court security procedures,” Curry said.
The scene reminded me of the French Open final in May, when a fan came out of the stands and tried to greet Roger Federer during play, although that incident was scary. Federer was in the middle of a match and it broke his concentration, requiring a few minutes during play to compose himself.